Tag Archives: newborn photography

Backyard Picture Fun! + Halloween

It’s been a rough couple of weeks as far as weather goes.  It seems like we have had so many rainy and overcast days here in the ‘retta.  We were able to get Nora outside on a few of the days that the sun peeked out and she loved every minute of it.  She loves the outdoors and I can’t wait to take her camping one day soon!

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This girl loves her mama so much, and now she can say “Mama” too!!!

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It’s crazy, she never used to rest her head like this when she was little, but she’s started recently.  Kristen and I think it is the sweetest thing and love that she’s starting to be even sweeter!

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That’s right!  This is the first Father/Daughter tree climbing we participated in.  It went reasonably well, she did try to eat all the branches.

Nov17 (21 of 24)

Because every girl has to perfect her pageant wave!

Nov17 (20 of 24)

She tried to eat the leaves too.  Looking back maybe she was hungry.  Actually she just always wants to eat everything.  Babies…

Nov17 (19 of 24)

Look at my leaf everybody!

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My two favorite girls as happy as can be.

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A little daddy/daughter time.  BTW notice the nicely cut lawn, I thought that would be the last time I mowed it but I think I might need to cut it one more time.

Nov17 (12 of 24)

On second thought, I’ll just let Nora roam around and eat all the grass.  She might be more effective than a goat!  (Full Disclaimer, I was able to stop her from eating the grass.)

Nov17 (11 of 24)

Love it!  Happy babies make everyone happy!

Halloween Bonus Pictures

It’s not enough to make a new post, but Nora dressed up like a Jazzercizer for Halloween (or HalloWayne as I like to call it).

Nov17 (14 of 24)

“I work out!”

Nov17 (15 of 24)

Nora in the Church daycare “Fall dress up” parade!

More Nora Pictures – Black & White

Ok, These are the last of the staged “newborn” pictures I took of Nora.  I’m sure there will be more later, but at least for now these are all the rest of the keepers!

Our little Ninja!  Kristen’s scarf worked so well for this picture and the soft light was incredible!

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Here’s a zoomed out shot, she barely fit in the scarf!

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Her crib seems so big when she’s in it, I think this crate is more her size!

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Yep, there is a baby in there somewhere!

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Had to take the classic ring pic.  Her feet are unbelievably small!

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Sleeping like a baby, this is what she does 80% of the day!

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Thanks for giving these a look!  If you have not checked out her other photos from this “shoot” check them out here.

Making the Shot – Christmas Tree Baby


This is hands down my favorite picture I’ve ever taken.  I’ve gotten quite a few positive remarks, so I’m sharing the details of how I got this shot in case you would like try something similar!

I took this picture with my Canon Rebel T3i, a pretty basic consumer DSLR.  I took this with a nicer 70-200mm f4 lens, but the same could easily be done with the f50mm f1.8 lens (~$125).  If you’ve got a Canon Rebel I would absolutely recommend this lens, its the best value lens out there and will allow you to dramatically expand your creative abilities with your shots.  If you are a Nikon shooter there is also a Nikon 50mm f1.8 lens that is about the same price, and while I have not used it I believe that it is equally a must own lens!

For my birthday this year (Halloween, or as I like to say HalloWayne) I got an external flash.  This is the big flash that you see mounted on top of DSLR cameras.  The flash can also be removed for more possibilities to control the light of your shot.  For Christmas I expanded my collection with getting a flash umbrella and stand.  With these few accessories one can really control the light of their shot, which is what Photography is all about, capturing light!  Here’s a quick picture of the setup!


There are several factors control how in focus the lights of the tree are.  The biggest ones are the f-stop setting of the lens, the distance between the camera and object in focus combined with how much further the tree is past the focus point.  For this shot I tried to get the camera as far away as possible without having to open the front door and go outside!

If you are using a fixed focal length lens like the 50mm, the desired composition or framing of your shot will also dictate where you place your camera, your subject, and your background.  If you have a tree as your background, you likely won’t want to move it as in my case.

Camera Settings

To get the camera settings correctly, first I put my camera in Manual mode.  Any shot where the light isn’t going to be changing and where you want full control should be shot in manual.  Once in manual I adjusted my settings without the flash firing until I got the background exposed how I wanted.

Since I wanted the maximum blur, or out of focus of the background I set my lens on its lowest aperature f-stop setting (f4).  This also results in nice round out of focus lights.  Depending on your lens and how many aperature blades it has, you may not see perfect circles at higher f-stop settings.  For example, if you are using the 50mm f1.8 lens at f4, you won’t get perfect circles, but get pentagons from the 5 blade aperture.

With the aperture set at f4 I went on to set my ISO, I selected ISO 400 for this shot and a shutter speed of 1/100th.  This ISO isn’t too high to make the picture grainy, and the shutter speed is fast enough to prevent motion blur from the subject moving, or from the camera shaking.  Since the camera was on a tripod for most of the shots the movement of the camera would have been minimal.

Flash Settings

With the background setting properly set it was time to adjust the flash settings.  I put my flash on manual and just took some pictures using trial and error to increase and decrease the flash power.  Since my actual subject would have been uncooperative with the test shots I used a stuffed animal.  As I later found stuffed animals and babies reflect light differently so some “game time” adjustments had to be made, but the settings were very close.


My test subject!  As you can see anything that’s not in the frame of the picture is ok, such as laundry baskets, etc.  Here I just used two couch cushions, a Boppy pillow, and some blankets to create a nice “posing” seat for Nora.

The Shot

Next step is to bring the baby down, leave her covered in a blanket and remove for the pictures, try to keep her calm and sleepy, and fine tune the flash power as needed.


I try to always shoot in RAW unless I’m trying to get a lot of photos in succession (RAW slows the camera burst rate down a bit).  RAW gives you a bit more control after you take the shot to make some adjustments in your digital darkroom.  A few minor tweaks later and here is the finished result!


Pictures from Nora’s First Photo shoot – DIY Newborn Photography

January Update – related black and white pictures have been added in this post. 

As I’m writing this, it is December 30th and the last few days have been a wild and fun adventure!  Our daughter, Nora Grace, was born on December 26th at 3:14 AM.  She was 8lbs. 2oz. and 20 inches.  She has stolen my heart and already has me wrapped around her fingers!  I just love her so much, and she is so cute so I decided I needed to capture her before she grows too much!  I’ve posted some pictures below.

We just can’t get enough of this hat! I think it is really cute!  Such pretty eyes!
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Sleeping like… well you see the picture.

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I just can’t get enough of those chubby little cheeks.  Too cute!

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Even the sun won’t wake this girl up when she is sleeping.  She’s the best!

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Love those little hands!  I need to get some more hands and feet pictures before she grows any more!

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Her little pink bow is precious!

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Do babies dream?

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This one needs a good caption!  What do you think she is thinking?

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Her Great Grandmother knit her this beautiful yellow blanket and she snuggles up in it so well!

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Seriously, I just can’t get enough of those hands.

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She did so good sleeping during her photo shoot!

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I love the sunshine on her face in this picture.  She is our little sunshine!!!

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This one was her final picture before she started peeing and having a meltdown!  Figures that she waited until we got her naked!

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